The Non-GMO Project
|Headquarters||Bellingham, Washington, USA|
|Megan Westgate, Executive Director|
Number of employees
The Non-GMO Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The organization began as an initiative of independent natural foods retailers in the U.S. and Canada, with the stated aim to provide non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) labeling for products produced in compliance with their Non-GMO Project Standard.
Founded in 2008, the Non-GMO Project's mission is "to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products, educate consumers, and provide verified non-GMO choices". The Non-GMO Project offers North America's only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. They also work with food manufacturers, distributors, growers, and seed suppliers to develop standards for detection of GMOs and for the reduction of contamination risk of the non-GMO food supply with GMOs. FoodChain Global Advisors, a part of Global ID Group, provides the technical capabilities.
Part of its mission is to "educate consumers and the food industry to help build awareness about GMOs and their impact on our health" and the project provides a document on their website called, “GMO Myths and Truths,” which they describe as "an evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops." However, there is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food.
The Non-GMO Project was founded on the belief that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms. Their primary strategy for providing consumers an informed choice and protecting a non-GMO food supply is to leverage the power of the marketplace.
Standard & Seal
The Non-GMO Project maintains a consensus-based standard  outlines their system for ensuring best practices for avoiding GMOs. Methods such as segregation, traceability, risk assessment, sampling techniques, and quality control management are emphasized in the Standard.
The project’s Product Verification Program assesses ingredients, products, and manufacturing facilities to establish compliance with the standard. All major GMO risk ingredients must be tested for compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard prior to use in a Non-GMO Project Verified Product. The process is managed through a web-based application and evaluation program developed for the project. The project's seal indicates compliance with the standards.
According to the Non-GMO Project, as of September 2013, Project Verified products exceeded $3.5 billion. This would be approximately 0.4% of the total food sales in the United States ($1.3 trillion in 2012). The Non-GMO Project reports 797 verification program enrollment inquiries in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 194 inquiries during the same period in 2012, representing more than a 300% increase.
In 2005, two natural food retailers formed the project, hoping to create a standardized definition of non-GMO. The Project worked with FoodChain Global Advisors which provided the scientific and technical expertise. In the Spring of 2007, the projects board of directors  was expanded to include representatives from additional groups, and formed advisory boards for technical and policy issues.
- Board of Directors | The Non-GMO Project
- The Organic & Non-GMO Report. April 2007 The Organic and Non-GMO Report:The Non-GMO Project rises to forefront of natural food industry
- William Neuman for the Taipei Times. 30 Aug 2009 The Non-GMO Project aims to back up food makers’ claims that their products are largely free of biotech ingredients
- "Non-GMO Project: About". Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Michael Antoniou, Claire Robinson, John Fagan. June 2012 GMO MYTHS AND TRUTHS
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Board of Directors (2012). Legally Mandating GM Food Labels Could Mislead and Falsely Alarm Consumers
- American Medical Association (2012). Report 2 of the Council on Science and Public Health: Labeling of Bioengineered Foods
- World Health Organization. Food safety: 20 questions on genetically modified foods. Accessed December 22, 2012.
- United States Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (2004). Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects. National Academies Press. Free full-text. National Academies Press. See pp11ff on need for better standards and tools to evaluate GM food.
- A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001-2010) (PDF). Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Biotechnologies, Agriculture, Food. European Union. 2010. p. 16. doi:10.2777/97784. ISBN 978-92-79-16344-9.
- Other sources:
- Tamar Haspel for the Washington Post. October 15, 2013. Genetically modified foods: What is and isn’t true
- Winter CK and Gallegos LK (2006). Safety of Genetically Engineered Food. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications, Publication 8180.
- Ronald, Pamela (2011). "Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security". Genetics 188 (1): 11–20. doi:10.1534/genetics.111.128553. PMC 3120150. PMID 21546547.
- Miller, Henry (2009). "A golden opportunity, squandered" (PDF). Trends in Biotechnology 27 (3): 129–130. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.11.004. PMID 19185375.
- Dr. Christopher Preston, AgBioWorld 2011. Peer Reviewed Publications on the Safety of GM Foods.
- "Q+A with Megan Westgate". Daily Camera.
- "Seeking Food Ingredients That Aren’t Gene-Altered". New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Westgate, Megan. "Top 3 Things to Know About the Non-GMO Project". Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Global ID was engaged by the Non-GMO Project to design and administer a non-GMO verification program." Golden Triangle Newspapers [dead link]
- Non-GMO Project: Understanding Our Seal.,
- http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-expenditures.aspx. Missing or empty
- "Natural" food retailers to set non-biotech standard" Food Chemical News , .[dead link]
- The Non-GMO Project History
- Andrew Kimbrell, Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food (Earth Aware Editions, 2007). ISBN 1-932771-52-2